The Department of Theatre here at TU will soon present one of the greatest plays of the modern American stage, "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams. It's the play that made Williams a household name in the mid-1940s -- a clearly autobiographical drama, set in Depression-era St. Louis, in which an aging and rather unstable Southern Belle longs for her youth and dreams of a better life for her children: the restless would-be poet, Tom, who narrates this memory play, and the shy if not reclusive Laura, Tom's elder sister.
On this installment of ST, we speak with the award-winning Canadian actor, playwright, and humorist Rick Miller, who will present his one-man show, "Boom," on Saturday the 20th at 7:30pm at the Tulsa PAC's Williams Theatre. As Miller tells us by phone, his 100-minute production offers a sweeping, fascinating, and maybe even educational exploration of the Baby Boomer generation -- from Che Guevara to Janis Joplin, from Buddy Holly to Nikita Khrushchev, and from Walter Cronkite to Martin Luther King, Jr.
One week from tonight, on August 8th, Theatre Tulsa will unveil its much-anticipated new production of the epic musical, "Les Misérables," which will run in the Tulsa PAC's John H. Williams Theatre through August 24th. The rights for "Les Mis" -- a favorite, of course, of countless musical theatre buffs worldwide -- have only recently been made available to community theatre organizations, and Theatre Tulsa will open its 92nd season with this epic. The production will feature a cast of 70+ people in a 13-performance run.
On this edition of ST, we're pleased to welcome Rebecca Ungerman back to our program. She has long been known and admired as one of the outstanding jazz/cabaret singers in the Tulsa community. She's also a wonderful songwriter, and her original musical, "The Unwitting Wife," was first staged about two years ago here in town (and was thereafter staged in Israel).
This has been an anxious past few months for many in Tulsa's arts community. That community was very much caught off-guard by the decision of Mayor Bartlett's office to eliminate most of the City of Tulsa's arts funding. Alarming proposals to cut staff positions at the Tulsa PAC Trust, the Waterworks Community Arts Center, and both the Heller and Clark Theatres effectively galvanized supporters all over town, and these supporters quickly spurred the City Council to oppose the Mayor's proposals.
On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome Hunter Bell and Jana Ellis, who are both involved with "[title of show]," the Tony-nominated one-act musical that is currently being staged at the Tulsa PAC by the locally-based American Theatre Company.
Molière's "Tartuffe" --- or "The Impostor" --- is a classic French play that was first performed in 1664. Bitingly satirical and LOL funny, this play tells the story of a deplorable religious con-man who tries to obtain the title to his friend's estate by sending him to jail; the title character of this ever-popular comedy also tries to rob that friend blind, to seduce his wife and daughter, and so on. "Tartuffe" is a work that's often revived in updated versions or alternate settings, and such is the case with the production of "Tartuffe" that TU's Department of Theatre is now staging.
This weekend, Tulsa Opera will continue its current season with the Oklahoma premiere of "Elmer Gantry," a Grammy Award-winning opera by Robert Aldridge. Based on the eponymous novel by Sinclair Lewis and the 1960 motion picture with Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons, this classic piece recounts the rise and fall of a charismatic but unscrupulous thrill-seeker who joins the 1920s Evangelical movement of the American Midwest. "Elmer Gantry" will be staged at Chapman Hall in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center on Friday the 28th (at 7:30pm) and Sunday the 2nd (at 2:30pm).
Theatre Tulsa's New Stage initiative will soon offer its first-ever production with a widely hailed play from 2010 that has never before graced an Oklahoma stage: "Clybourne Park," by Bruce Norris, is a Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning comedy/drama that was written in response to Lorraine Hansberry's landmark play, "A Raisin in the Sun" (1959). "Clybourne Park" will be staged in the Liddy Doenges Theatre at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center from tomorrow night (Friday the 21st) through March 2nd.
"A Streetcar Named Desire" --- which earned playwright Tennessee Williams the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948, was the basis for the classic 1951 film with Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, and remains one of the fundamental if not defining works of the American stage --- is opening at 7:30pm tonight (Friday the 14th) here in Tulsa, in a new production at the Tulsa PAC's John H. Williams Theatre. This version of "Streetcar" is being produced by The Playhouse Tulsa; it's running through February 22nd.